Integrity Legal - Law Firm in Bangkok | Bangkok Lawyer | Legal Services Thailand Back to
Integrity Legal

Legal Services & Resources 

Up to date legal information pertaining to Thai, American, & International Law.

Contact us: +66 2-266 3698

ResourcesVisa & Immigration LawThailand Immigration LawWill Post-Amnesty Thai Visas Be Available for Stranded Tourists?

Will Post-Amnesty Thai Visas Be Available for Stranded Tourists?

Transcript of the above video:

As the title of this video suggests, we are discussing the prospects for tourists who are trapped here in Thailand due to COVID-19, post amnesty.  

A recent article from the Phuket News, that is, it is titled Tourists get Unlimited 30-day Extensions to stay after "Visa Amnesty" Ends. I have cited this article before. It is a good article. Those who are watching this video, check that article out. The Phuket News is a really good news source but they are using a little bit in my opinion perhaps not the most precise language or perhaps the most accurate language when they say "Unlimited".  I can see scenarios where somebody could effectively get unlimited status through this program until this crisis is abated if you will but it remains to be seen; and case by case I do not think it is a foregone conclusion. I have made a number of videos on this channel on that topic; I urge you to go to our videos on the channel. Just check out our overall feed. I have been doing videos on this basically at this point for days specifically talking about how these Ad hoc 30-day visas or visa stamps I should say or just 30-day status stamps in my opinion they don't look to me like a long-term strategy for maintaining status. They are a temporary stopgap measure to deal with an unprecedented situation that frankly they are doing their best to deal with. 

Quoting directly:  "Foreigners staying in the country on any form of tourist visa," let's be clear, tourist visa. This does not pertain to Non-immigrant Visas so those watching this who have a B Visa, O Visa, OA Retirement Visa, ED Visa, M Visa for journalists; those folks are in a different situation, you are covered under a different body of law. So back to quoting: "Foreigners staying in the country on any form of tourist visa will be allowed to repeatedly renew their permits to stay with Immigration for periods of 30 days at a time after the "Visa Amnesty" ends on September 26th, the Immigration Bureau announced today, September 3rd." Quoting further: "Immigration Deputy Commander Major General Porchjai Kantee announced the news at a press conference held at the Immigration Bureau Headquarters in Bangkok, saying that the Cabinet had approved the move."  So as I have gone into detail in other videos, this is looking like it is going to be approved. There is going to be a mechanism to try and keep people from falling through the cracks. We have done videos on the fact that you need, for medical visas you may be able to extend on medical grounds; you need documentation to prove it. If you otherwise just can't leave Thailand and you are seeking a letter from your respective Embassy, your Embassy may issue that letter but as we have noted in other videos, they are only going to issue it if you can show "compelling grounds". They basically have gone to great links to state that. Just not wanting to leave Thailand is not good enough. You need to show cause why you need an Embassy letter. That looks to me to be the way this regime is going to work in this sort of limbo period while we are hoping things return to normal. 

The long story short and the thing to take away from this video is yes tourists look like they are going to be accommodated in one degree or another but it is a very good idea if you have the option to regularize your status, to convert into another Visa status, to just regularize your status here in Thailand, it is a very good idea to seriously consider using that option, exercising that option and I strongly recommend seriously considering doing so prior to the 26th of September.  At least as of the time of this video, that is when the definitive Amnesty ends and who is to say what options you are going to have after the 26th has come and gone.